After five hard fought months the 2016 Specsavers County Championship campaign reaches its conclusion this week with a thrilling last round of matches and Middlesex sat proudly at the top of the Division One table.
Middlesex’s gap over Yorkshire was extended last week to nine points, by virtue of both Middlesex’s draw with Lancashire at Old Trafford and the reigning champions ten wicket defeat at Headingley to Somerset. Whilst Yorkshire losing ground on Middlesex widened the gap at the top of the table, the 23 points that Somerset gained from their comprehensive win saw them catapult themselves right into a three horse title race.
For Middlesex, part of the equation is simple; a win will see them crowned County Champions for the first time since 1993, whereas defeat will see the title head to either Yorkshire or Somerset. A draw will see their fate come down to a nail biting check on bonus points, should Somerset muster a win against Notts.
Yorkshire head into the clash with some notable absentees, in Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root, who are rested at the ECB’s request ahead of their winter commitments. Adil Rashid also misses out on the trip to Lord’s, due to an illness in the family.
Middlesex are able to name an unchanged squad for the clash at the Home of Cricket which will be played out in front of the Sky cameras. Steven Finn will lead the pace attack for Middlesex, whilst doubts over Tim Murtagh’s availability were settled late last week when Cricket Ireland and Middlesex reached agreement on him being available for the four days of the Yorkshire clash. Murtagh will represent Middlesex at Lord’s, then fly to South Africa to join up with the Ireland touring party after the game.
Middlesex name the following fourteen-man squad:
James Franklin (captain) Nick Compton, Stephen Eskinazi, Steven Finn, Nick Gubbins, Ryan Higgins, Dawid Malan, Tim Murtagh, Ravi Patel, Harry Podmore, Ollie Rayner, Sam Robson, Toby Roland-Jones, John Simpson
Gates open at 9-30am with play scheduled to begin at 10.30am each day. Tickets are £18 for adults, £9 concessions and £5 for under 16's. Middlesex members gain free entry on production of 2016 membership card.
The Presidents Box will be open to Middlesex members and their guests for the duration of this match.
You can follow the action live via the scorecard on the home page of the Middlesex website, listen on BBC 5 Live Sports Extra, or watch via Sky Sports.